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Latest DfE statistics on funded hours released

The annual early years education statistics have been published today by the Department for Education (DfE) providing information on the provision for children under five years of age in England, January 2017.

We have summarised the statistics below:

Funded places take-up

Take-up up funded places for 3-, and 4-year-olds has remained broadly stable at 95% (up from 94% last year). The 2-year-old take-up rate is now 71%, up from 68% last time.

Out of these statistics, 93% of 3- and 4-year-olds and 96% of 2-year-olds are in good or outstanding settings. 

Providers and funded places

The number of 3-year-olds accessing a place in a private, voluntary and independent provider (PVI) or childminder setting has increased 4% since 2011. However, for 2-year-olds, the trend is reversed for PVI and childminder settings but has increased by 8% in school-based settings since 2014.  

  • 4% of 2-year-olds and 2% of 3-year-olds are accessing their funded place with a childminder.
  • 88% of 2-year-olds and 62% of 3-year-olds are accessing their funded place in a PVI group setting.
  • 12% of 2-year-olds and 37% of 3-year-olds are accessing their funded place in a school-based setting.

For 4-year-olds, the majority (80%) are accessing a place in a school setting, but this figure includes those in reception. No 4-year-olds are reported to be taking up their funded hours with a childminder (I assume the number is too low to be estimated as a percentage) and 19% are in a PVI group setting.

Early years pupil premium

Take-up of EYPP is low, with only 11% of 3-year-olds and 13% of 4-year-olds recorded as eligible claiming early years pupil premium.

Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive comments on the latest statistics: “This latest data once again highlights the heavy reliance government has on PVI providers to deliver its funded hours. It reinforces how vital it is to ensure this funding is sustainable for all registered providers, so that children can continue to attend good and outstanding settings. If the roll out of 30 hours of funded early education continues as planned providers in many areas will not be able to afford the investment in staff and training that they need to maintain the high quality care they deliver. School provision can only ever be part of the solution when families need childcare all year round.

“The data also shows that childminding could play a much larger part in the delivery of funded places but, as PACEY has highlighted repeatedly, only if funding levels are sustainable, payment is prompt and local authorities do more to support parents to understand the unique contribution childminding can offer their children’s early education

Finally to see that less than 15% of children eligible for early years pupil premium are actually benefiting is evidence of system failure. Government must not only increase the funding level for this vital additional support, so it matches that at primary school but also reduce the red tape surrounding how families actually access the funding in the first place. Currently the funding available is too little to make a significant difference to a child’s future life chances and too complex for most families to navigate.”